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Boot disaster! This is a TOUGH question!

By rareashelldvds ·
I work at a record store where we just installed windows xp on one of our networked computers. we had been running windows ME on a four-year-old computer from gateway, but decided it was time to get rid of millenium edition because it was extremely unreliable.
anyways, when we installed xp most of our software became unstable---excel took 5 minutes to load, many programs gave us a "not responding" message, and our scanner just plain stoppped working.
bear in mind, all we did was run a clean install of xp and installed office xp and a couple other small programs. the computer had next to nothing on it's hard-drive, so it should have been running beautifully. we also DID NOT update xp---no service packs--nothing.
after pointlessly defragmenting the newly-cleaned hard disc we decided that we probably needed a new BIOS set-up. we downloaded an updated BIOS from gateway and attempted to install it, but our floppy drive did not work! so we attempted to make a bootable CD to load BIOS but had no success. at this point we gave up troubleshooting and our REAL problem started...

while running "spybot" just for the **** of it (even though spyware shouldn't have been on the computer), the computer froze, an error message appeared saying our NVIDIA driver was invalid (or something strange like that) and we attempted to reboot.

Now NOTHING boots. no windows, no BIOS no nothing. the hard drive clicks once or twice and stops. no images on the screen NOTHING. no loading, nothing at all. the CD-ROM will still open and close, the PC still obviously has power, the moniter is on of course, but nothing happens.

did we wipe out BIOS? did we **** out the motherboard somehow? is the hard drive dead?

any suggestions?


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by jlhogue In reply to Boot disaster! This is a ...

Did you try clearing the CMOS with the jumper on the mother board, if that works and you have a old video card put that in till you can download drivers for your present card reinstall that. Xp sometimes does this on old hardware.

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by TomBer In reply to Boot disaster! This is a ...

If the graphics card is dead, you won't see anything, but the 'puter may be running fine.

Check and see if you have either an onboard graphics adapter or PCI. Maybe even both. If so, change the connection to the other one and see if that works.

If not, try replacing the graphics card. Thus when you reboot, you'll be able to confirm if bios is wiped.

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by rareashelldvds In reply to

hard drive has no activity---the NVIDIA error seems to me to be just a weird random error message. again, computer does not run for more than 2 seconds after power-up. it then just sits there. it can't conceive of a video card having this sort of impact.

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by CG IT In reply to Boot disaster! This is a ...

humm if you have another computer around create a windows boot floppy and find/buy and new floppy [or yank one out of a computer you know is working and install it.

Check all power cords and check to make sure the power suppy on off switch is on [some have on/off switches, some don't but check the back of the computer where the power supply cord connects to the power supply and make sure the switch, if there is one, is in the on position.

As the first answer said, with the power off, either move the CMOS clear jumper to the clear position then move it back to the run position or remove the CMOS Battery. This will clear any misconfigurations in the CMOS. Wont fix the BIOS but if the computer will power on, theres hope.

Put in a floppy boot disk into the working floppy and power on. hopefully you get to boot from the floppy. It's quite possible that in attempting to flash the BIOS, you did a partial flash/erase which , well,,, thats an ooops damnit moment. The maker of the computer should have a recover procedure for a failed flash. Usually entails a bootable floppy and a floppy with the updated BIOS version.

Note: Flashing the BIOS in Windows mode isn't recommended. If you tried and it didnt work, and your still in Windows mode, you won't see any damage until you reboot the computer [which is what appears to have happend. You should flash from DOS mode by booting to a floppy and then using another floppy with the BIOS on it and execute the flash command.

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by CG IT In reply to

I recommend you review the computer mfg procedure for failed BIOS flash recover procedures. Failed flashes happen. Power goes out, someone turns the power off inadvertently, the cat steps on the power strip off switch, the kids does it for kicks, and theres a recover procedure for it

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by maxwell edison In reply to Boot disaster! This is a ...

If you tried to install Windows XP and Office XP on a four year old Gateway computer, that was probably the beginning of your problem.

The "minimum" system requirements for XP are:

? PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended, Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended

? 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended

? 1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space

Although your computer may meet those requirements, I'd easily double them - or more - as my own personal minimum.

Throw in the fact that a Gateway computer running Windows ME was pretty much of a dog (comparatively speaking) to begin with, and the attempted upgrade may have been doomed from the beginning. Also consider this. Many computer manufacturers, including Dell, Gateway, and others, may require that their own version of any operating system be used for their proprietary hardware.

The BIOS update may or may not have been necessary, but if a BIOS flash fails in its process, you're pretty much hosed.

Have you considered just buying a new computer? After all, for businesses, a 3-5 year life is about all we can expect out of one, depending on the software upgrade cycle.

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by TheChas In reply to Boot disaster! This is a ...

I fully agree with resetting the CMOS.

If there is not a clear CMOS jumper, remove the CMOS backup battery, and unplug the PC for at least 1/2 hour.

See if you can now power up.
If so, install a new CMOS backup battery.

As to your problems, I do NOT believe that the BIOS has anything to do with the program errors you are getting.
Which version of XP do you have?
If it does not have Service Pack 1 included, you MUST at least download and install SP1.

Next, what speed CPU, and how much RAM do you have?
I would want a minimum of a 500MHz CPU, and at least 256MB of system RAM for running XP.

Since XP works the PC a bit harder than Me did, another possibility is that your power supply choose the last boot as the time to die.


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by rareashelldvds In reply to

resetting the CMOS worked....then our hard drive died on an unrelated issue. this computer is a lemon...

thanks for the help!

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by rareashelldvds In reply to Boot disaster! This is a ...

BTW, here is the system we were running:

athlon 1.1 ghz
224 megs of ram (we had just added 96 to our existing 128 in hopes of remedying the original problems)
20 gig hard drive

this should have been adequate for running xp.

we tried removing the CMOS battery, but it didn't help. this point my boss isn't quite ready to resign to getting a new computer. unfortunately, i'm the one who suggested upgrading to xp (and starting all of our problems...ugh)

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by rareashelldvds In reply to Boot disaster! This is a ...

we ATTEMPTED to flash the BIOS, it didn't seem to "take". we re-booted twice before the system crashed.

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